According to a recent study published in the journal Med, preschool and school children in Germany have been infected with the coronavirus, three to four times more as confirmed via PCR testing during the second wave. This is a reverse trend as opposed to the 1st wave of infections. Much to the fear of parents, more countries are now reporting a surge of infection in children, who were previously believed to be less vulnerable to the disease.
The antibody frequency in children from October 2020 to February 2021 was 5.6 per cent, whereas it was 8.4 per cent among school children between November 2020 and February 2021.
The study was conducted on about 446 children who tested positive in the second wave. The results showed that while the proportion of antibody-positive children without symptoms was 68 per cent among preschoolers, it was 51.2 per cent among school-aged children.
The antibody frequency at the end of the second wave was eight times higher than the end of the first wave.
"Children are often said to be less likely infected compared to adults. However, the data for this assumption is sparse. The results of our study clearly show that both preschool and school children are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection," said Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Munich-Neuherberg, Germany.
With the surge in infections in India, similar reports of children being infected more are arising. The main reason the infection in children is overlooked is that they show mild symptoms, act as silent carriers or super-spreaders and spread it to other children and adults, who can suffer severe diseases.
The researchers believe that the sudden surge of infections is due to the higher exposure to the virus in cold weather, school opening and more infectious variants of coronavirus and suggested that better adequate measures are required to control the infections in kindergartens and school children.